Action and Contemplation: The Art of Christian Engagement


Action and Contemplation: The Art of Christian Engagement

UD undergraduate unit code: DS/DP3205W or 
UD postgradute unit code: DS/DP9205W


This unit explores the art of engaging in Christian life and ministry with a contemplative awareness. It will examine the Biblical, theological and practical foundations for a Christian contemplative spirituality, and the implications of this posture of union with God for one’s personal life, relationships, ministry and involvement in wider society.

Particular focus will be given to:

  • the Biblical, theological and practical issues of reconciling one’s active and contemplative life with the personal and social dimensions of ministry;
  • a theological understanding and critical engagement with the dynamics of forgiveness and reconciliation in ministry from a contemplative awareness;
  • spiritual and practical exercises to increase their awareness of being present to themselves, the Holy Spirit, and to others.

Lecturer: Rev Dr Tim McCowan

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • articulate the Biblical and theological foundations for a contemplative spirituality in Christian life and ministry;
  • identify the challenges and resources to live with a contemplative awareness in daily life;
  • evaluate the effect of a contemplative practice and vision on a person’s engagement in ministry;
  • analyse their theological and practical understanding of forgiveness, reconciliation and non-violent social action for a particular cultural and social context;
  • critically self-evaluate their growth through personal and peer supervision;
  • articulate a theological synthesis of theory and practice for a contemplative approach to ministry and social action.


This course will be available again in Semester 2 2024. The unit will be delivered in blended mode, online via Zoom and at WellSpring Centre, 10 Y Street Ashburton VIC 3147.